2/08/2005

Listen to webcast of NPR debate on eminent domain abuse

National Public Radio's Justice Talking presented a debate on eminent domain abuse earlier this month. You can listen to it online at your convenience, at:
www.justicetalking.org/viewprogram.asp?progID=494.


Speakers are James Kunstler who opposes eminent domain except for traditional "public use" and and Jeff Finkle who interprets economic development as fitting this category.

Editorial opinions:
  • Kunstler didn't do his homework before the debate and therefore didn't do a good job in it.
  • Finkle kept referring to property being taken by eminent domain as "blighted," totally obfuscating the point of Kelo v New London and other situations in which the property is viable.
  • The debate was held at the new Constitution Center in Philadelphia, so the audience was primarily from that city and the "Neighborhood Transformation Initiative" was mentioned frequently. Here the point was missed that most of the property being taken under this program is truly blighted — typically vacant and/or abandoned and a hazard to public health and welfare.

Listen and see what you think.